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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Holly Says: Lover Revealed by JR Ward

Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

Normally when more than one of us here at SF reviews the same book, we just add our thoughts to whatever has already been posted. But Jazzy-girl was a bit long winded, so I just decided to add my thoughts here.

I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but I'm not going to make any promises. Don't forget to check out Jazz's review before you go. We tend to have differing opinions, especially when it comes to the BDB.

Ok, so you already know the basic plot, but let's see if I can recap...

Butch is pretty much feeling sorry for himself all the way around. He has no purpose in life other than to sit around and drink good scotch. Shoot, even the clothes on his back were ones bought by other people. Oh, and he's half stalking a vampire female who doesn't want him, and is way out of his league in any case. Then, his day gets worse.

He's picked up by some Lessers and spends the next 12 hours somewhere far away from happy land. Then the Omega gets involved and dude, what he does to Butch is just..freaky.

Then there's Marissa. She's an aristocrat who hates her life, is controlled by her brother, and knows no one wants her. But then she gets a call that changes all that. She's needed at Butch's bedside. Naturally she rushes right over to take care of him and that's when things get interesting.

The Good: JRW is one of the few authors I've read who can constantly jump around and pull it off. Every other chapter is a new situation, with different characters, but unlike some others, she pulls this off grandly. As a matter of fact, I think her stories would suffer quite a bit if she didn't jump around as much as she does.

John. He was great. I love the bits and pieces we saw of him and I can't wait to read more about him. And I just love being right about him. Just in case y'all haven't figured out where John came from yet, highlight the following text: He's Darius reincarnated...

The Man Love between Butch and V. Now, I was initially going to put this under The Ugly section below, but the truth is, it's kind of hot. I mean, come on, what girl doesn't fantasize about 2 big, strong alpha males going at it like dirty rabbits? Except, I really, really wish all those rabid fans out there would just go ahead and admit that...THEY'RE GAY! Dude.

The Bad:
The slang and the designer name dropping. I swear, by the time I finished the book, I wanted to scratch my eyes out. Was it really necessary to tell us what designer each person was wearing? Cripes. Way over the top!

Although the slang got on my nerves, I have to tell you, it didn't bother me as much in this book as it has in her previous ones. I'm not sure if it's because I stopped expecting better, or if it was because she didn't use it as much, but I only rolled my eyes a couple of times. Oh, well, except for that EVERYONE used the slang in this book. Our perfect aristocratic heroine? Yep. The nasty Lesser dudes? Yep. Come on now, at least in the last book JRW gave us a break once in awhile.

I'm not really a Phury fangirl, but why was homeboy so absent in this book? I realize his part wouldn't be as strong as it was in Zarek's book, but he was only mentioned like...maybe once? That just seemed kind of strange to me.

The Ugly:
Butch. Hello, big fat whiny crybaby. Could you feel any sorrier for yourself? Look, I realize he'd been handed some shit in his life, but in my opinion, a real man bucks up and doesn't whine and cry about it. Suck.It.Up. Plus, his stalker-like obsession with Marissa got a little old, and so did his constant, "I'm not good enough" bull. Not that I don't see where he was coming from, but seriously, he should have outgrown that shit in the first half of the book, at least.

Marissa. Yes, I know she was naive and sheltered her whole life. And I will admit we saw some major growth from her throughout the book, but there was just one misunderstanding too many for my tastes. Even someone as sheltered as Marissa shouldn't have acted as stupid as she did. And the ending? OH.HELL.NO. That stunt she pulled? She in no way made up for what she did to Butch. Especially since she didn't even realize she was wrong on her own, she had to have the other girls tell her so. And she should have begged and pleaded and crawled and...well, you get the idea. So wasn't impressed.

The nice, neat tidy thing that happens to clear everything up for Marissa and Butch's HEA. Come on, could you maybe be a little more creative? Oh, look, it's Sherrilyn Kenyon all over again. I know something had to happen so they could be together 4-ever, but this plot line was just a bit contrived.

I could probably go on and on, but I'll stop there for now. My grade?

Butch/Marissa: 1.5
The rest of the story: 3.0

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Blogger Dylan said...

What girl doesn't fantasize about two alpha males getting it on?

ME!!! That's so not something I'd ever consider sexy Holly...frickin' gross!

March 6, 2007 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Dylan said...

Oh and interesting review, I'll have to see what I think when I finally get the book given to me by my friend, Therese since I'm never buying a JRW book again...LOL.

March 6, 2007 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

LMAO! Bitter much? hahaha

March 6, 2007 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Isabel said...

Hmm, i didn't plan on reading this but I'm getting curious to see what the fuss is about but damn girl, don't hold back now... lol

March 6, 2007 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Marg said...

So, are you still hooked into the series? Will you be reading the next one?

March 6, 2007 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

I don't know, Marg. I wasn't really even sure I wanted to read this one. The thing is, there's so much hype about the books it's almost deceiving. These are not literary masterpieces, they're just fluffy. Sure, they're a bit deeper than your average category romance, but they aren't meant to show you the meaning of life.

If I go into the books with that opinion, and not that of the general masses (READ IT READ IT READ IT OR DIE), then yes, I'll probably read the next. And after this book, I'm more interested in V than I was before.

So, quite possibly. On the other hand, when a series starts getting predictable I find myself not very interested in it anymore. Take Sherilyn Kenyon for example. I used to love her, but now she's gone so far out into left field I'm not even tempted.

After reading this book, I'm pretty sure that's how JRW will end up.

March 6, 2007 at 2:55 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Ummm Holly? I don't know what fantasy land your from but in mine I am not interested in seeing two big macho men going at it like rabbits, gross. Maybe if you throw a girl or two into the mix it'd be a fantasy but just the two guys? That's a fantasy for a gay man. lol.

March 6, 2007 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger sybil said...

to steal a line from karens...

I love you girls like a fat kid loves cake.

BUT I really don't think you can review this series, without being bias. Maybe if the reviewer didn't get involve in your catfight with the cellies (which is why I read holly's but won't the other).

hell this would be like me reviewing a certain author who's name starts with a M (don't say it... I think it is like beetlejuice say it three times and she appears).

I am so backed up I haven't had a chance to reread this and would love to reread the series. Saying that (I think I read this about four months ago) I liked it but would put it at the bottom of my list in the four (still in the B range).

Mainly I am postinng because as a person who doesn't read m/m fiction (it doesn't do much for me), I really have to say you guys are being offensive.

I understand we don't all have to be PC, hug each other and buy the world a coke. But the whole omg that is gross! thing basically shits on anyone who does like it or read it. Then again maybe that is the point?

Really there are a hell of a lot of people out there who do like it and most of it is written by women for women. Straight on both counts... so it does appeal to people.

Can't you express your dislike without making the people who do like it seem ugly or gross? Isn't that the same thing as other readers saying romance is stupid, porn for women, mindless, ect...

I have no place to tell anyone what to do, say or post and I am in no way trying to do that now. But romance will never get respect until we learn to respect ourselves.

just my 2 cents...

March 6, 2007 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...


First off let me share a little secret with you, my brother is gay and guess what? He thinks it is gross to have sex with a woman! SHOCKER I know! And you know what? That doesn't mean he thinks I'm dirty and wierd for being straight.

I love him and I know he probably (well definetly) would think it is hot for two men to go at it like rabbits, and he has not problem with me thinking it's gross (as in something I don't want to watch).

I have no problem reading it I was just pointing out to Holly that that is not my fantasy. Kay? Good, glad we got that out of the way.

Second, my review was nicer than Holly's. If you knew me you'd know that I don't allow what I think of an author affect what I think of thier work.

Yes I got into that fight awhile ago with the crazies and yes I think Ward has some issues but in reality? I don't give a shit about them. But her books? I love them and I'll buy them. That is where me and my girls here differ alot.

I don't give a crap about an authors personal life.

But if you don't want to read my review because I was in an argument awhile ago with some crazy fans than that's your choice. Whatever floats your boat.

March 6, 2007 at 5:49 PM  
Blogger sybil said...

I didn't explain myself well I guess... I wasn't saying you were homophobic.

I was saying it sounded like you could be alienating readers who did read m/m and in a way made it seen gross if they did want to read it.

I think I had a misconception of your blog, sorry. It was just an outside view looking in. I forget some blogs want other opinions than their own and others just want agreement.

March 6, 2007 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

I see what you mean, Syb. I think Jazz and Dee meant that it's not their fantasy, but their delivery could use a little work, right?

But I meant what I said. The idea of 2 big alpha guys getting down and dirty is a serious turn on. YUM!

March 6, 2007 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Kristie (J) said...

I seriously didn't think I would ever hear myself (well - technically I still didn't *hear* it 'cause I'm typing) say this - but if you haven't read Lover Eternal - you really should. I read it and it was really surprised at how much it *got* to me.

March 6, 2007 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger CindyS said...

Basically I just glanced at the grades you and Jazz have given the book because I'm trying to remain spoiler free!

Glancing through the comments though, I'm with Holly on the hotness - sorry, watched Queer as Folk and that Brian guy was hot. Now, I haven't actually read M/M or F/F (which isn't a turn on) cause I'm straight and read mostly straight but man, when movies or books show more than just friendship between men, wowzers! So, to sum up, I've never read an actual love scene between two men (course, maybe that blood drinking scene in the last book between B and V would be close) but there is something very provocative about the way Ward writes these guys - you're kinda left waiting for one of them to tear the other's clothes off ;) And *cough* I wouldn't mind being part of that sandwich - OKAY TMI I know but I had to say it.

Okay, tomorrow is Butch day for me so I'll be back to actually read through the reviews so I know why Holly didn't feel the love for Butch and Marissa.


March 6, 2007 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Kat O+ said...

Have to admit, I was a bit wary of reading the reviews here because of all the hoopla last year but the two you guys have posted so far have seemed reasonable...and really not that far away from other bloggers' (barring those who only squee and never snark, but I don't count them as reviews).

The M/M thing? I wouldn't normally read an M/M story, either, but I would a well-written M/M/F (or whatever permutation thereof). After Emma Holly's Menage, I can never again discount the possibility that such a plot would work for me. I kind of feel torn that JRW is so popular because it's unlikely she'll ever go for anything other than the straight (haha) M/F pairings. Because she actually does write the ambiguous threesomes quite well (for example, the blood sucking thing in Lover Eternal, and the many permutations in Lover Awakened).

And CindyS, Queer As Folk opened up my eyes to M/M hotness...and just straight out M/M romance, to be honest. I loved that show (at least, the earlier seasons). Hubby was a bit grossed out so I just called him over whenever the lesbians were up. *g*

March 7, 2007 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

I read LE and rather enjoyed it, even if the heroine got on my nerves. I thought it might strike a cord with you and I'm glad you enjoyed it so.

I've never read an actual m/m scene, either, but gosh, there's just something...hot about the scenes in JRW's books. And in others I've read. I've never watched Queer as Folk, but I'm tempted to Netflix them now. lol

Kat 0+,
I'm sorry you were hesitant to read our reviews based on the drama from last year. Knowing a lot of people would feel that way, I tried to be as fair as possible in my review.

Have you read m/m then? Is it all it's cracked up to be? I'm kind of curious now, but I'm not sure I could actually dig the scenes themselves. Thinking about them in the abstract works for me, but I'm not sure if I would like to read about/see the real thing. Does that make sense?

Threesomes I've read, and enjoyed for the most part. It's all subjective, of course, and depends on the authors ability to draw me in, but I like them. *g*

March 7, 2007 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Jazz said...

I don't think I was true to how I really feel in my first response to Holly, or my fingers were to fast for my brain. lol.

I think it is more the 'going at it like rabbits' that was kinda ilk to me. lol. And while I'm not all gung ho on m/m, I can read it and I can on occation (depending on how it's written) find it hot. What I find really hot is f/f/m or f/f, don't know why, but that's so much more a turn on for me.

Guess cause I'm not a big one for anal sex and most of the time with m/m or m/m/f that's in it.

And I wanted to say to Holly that I didnt' think that was MOST womans fantasy. But I could be wrong.

Also I really want anyone here that doesn't REALLY know me to know this. Even if I really really dislike an author as a person it never shadows what I think about a book. Cause when I read a book it is for the characters in the book, the author is a nobody when I'm reading. So don't let all that other stuff keep you from reading a review I do.

March 7, 2007 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Kat O+ said...

Holly - No, never read a full M/M novel but I've read 3+somes. For me to enjoy a romantic (in the general sense) or sexy story, there has to be a woman in there somewhere. Being treated with respect, of course. Otherwise I feel a little...excluded. *lol* So Butch and V? Marissa would have to be in there somewhere. Or Rehv, Marissa and Butch. After 300+ years of abstinence, surely she's entitled to live a little!

Jazz - F/F/M was brought up just recently (I think on Sybil's blog when she was doing the Power of Three posts?). I'd love to read romantic/erotic F/F/M and I was surprised that the general consensus was that F/F/M doesn't sell well. I think maybe 3 people wanted to read more of it. Not sure if it's just because there aren't enough out there to cater for a variety of tastes or what - or maybe it's because most of them are F/M/F (and the conflict is all about the jealousy between the two women which I have to admit I don't particularly find enjoyable). I may be talking out of my arse, of course, since I haven't actually read commercial F/F/M stories...but then I haven't actively gone looking, either. I did do a quick search to see if they're really as scarce as people have said and yeah, I didn't really find a blurb that stood out for me.

And back to Lover Revaled *lol*...I haven't read it yet - it's on the desk taunting me. Sleep or Butch? It's so hard to choose...

March 7, 2007 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Or Rehv, Marissa and Butch. After 300+ years of abstinence, surely she's entitled to live a little!

LOL! I can't argue with you there!

March 7, 2007 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Nikki said...

I guess I am in the minority but, I think the Butch, V thing is Hot!! But reading it played out, I don't know. I've never read a m/m book, but if a book came along and the writing was good I would sure read it.

I like m/m/f a lot, but not m/f/f.

Different strokes for different folks!!Ha Ha! (I crack myself up!!)

March 7, 2007 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Dylan said...

Hey Syb,

I'm a bit lost here, are you talking about Holly's reference to the man love in her review or our comments in here? Just curious sweetie.

March 7, 2007 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Dylan said...

Hey Nikki,

As far as threesomes go, I think I'd like m/f/f more than f/m/m...but I did read a threesome where it was f/m/m and it didn't really do much for me but make me think, ouch that had to have hurt.

March 7, 2007 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

LOL, Dlyan you crack me up 'that had to have hurt', LMAO! And I'm pretty sure Sybil was talking about me and you saying 'gross' to Holly's saying it was a hot fantasy to see two men going at it like rabbits.

March 7, 2007 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Nikki, We'll be the minority together. It's ok. LOL

Dee, Yep, she was referring to yours and Jazz's comments about me saying the man love was hot. :)

March 7, 2007 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Chantal said...

I love me some m/m sex. Yummy yum yum! Why do you think I read so much Emma Holly? LOL

I'm not hesitant to read what these gals have to say about a J.R Ward book. I trust that they are adult enough to put whatever went on with the crazy fans onto a back burner while they review.
They DID read it ya know. I doubt they would waste time and money on a book that they don't plan to give a chance too.

Anyway, like I mentioned under Jazz's review, I have the first 2 from this series in my TBR. I have not read any J.R Ward yet, and I feel out of the loop.

March 7, 2007 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Jazz said...

Awww Chantal I love your trust in me! lol.

March 8, 2007 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger nath said...

Seriously, m/m definitively can be hot - I read too much yaoi manga, that's for sure :P

anyway, i have a feeling that I won't like the book that much... although, I knew before I bought the book. I agree with Holly, there's way too much hype about this series ^^; I usucally can stay away from blockbuster books, but never when they're romance, sigh. What book I want to read is JOHN!!! and perhaps, Thor...

By the way, I really liked your review Holly :D

March 9, 2007 at 5:47 AM  
Blogger Devon said...

Okay,I was putting off coming here until I read the book and had my own up, when I saw you guys had reviews up. Now it's done and up, so I'm blog hopping.

I'll comment only on what's here, and hit Jazz's review next.

--Oy vey, Holly, I even structured my review a lot like you! I definitely agreed with a lot of what you said (Go look), although I think ultimately I liked it better than you. It's just that I thought the hero and the romance were the weakest part of the book.

--There's was definitely less slang, but way too much label/$$ crap.

--I've proclaimed my love of the Butch/V stuff all over. Its hot. Fer sure. I don't mind the gay. Really the only thing I worried about was that I wouldn't be able to buy either of them with a woman. But she made it work for me.

--I love V more than ever and want his book.

Now let's go see Jazz' review.

March 9, 2007 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

I'll go check it out in just a sec, Dev. I agree that she made the relationship with Marissa work inspite of the relationship Butch had with V. I was skeptical, too.

I want John's book too! BIG TIME!

March 9, 2007 at 2:37 PM  
Anonymous casee said...

Okay, Holly I have you figured out. First, can you name a heroine you actually like? No? Shocking. LMAO. I think you don't like women, which is why you find the Butch/V, um-relationship? friendship? lovership?, hot. So am I right or what? ;)

I am with you about Marissa. While she was more likable, she in no way, shape, or form redeemed herself. At all. The fact that she was treating Butch how she was treated for 300 years makes her TSTL, IMO.

March 12, 2007 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Now, Case, that's not entirely true. I'm harder on heroines than I am on heroes, but I don't hate ALL of them. I quite liked Beth from DL and Bride from Night Play and Yelena from Poison Study and many, many others. I think my standards are just higher for heroines because they represent women the world over and I don't want them to give us "real" women a bad name. So there. :P


Yeah, Marissa was just TSTL all the way around. I wanted to bitch slap her a couple times. :)

But did you just love John, or what? *sigh*

March 12, 2007 at 10:13 AM  
Anonymous casee said...

Yes, I did love John. I loved how Zsadist took him under his wing so to speak. I do think it's effed up that Tohr would just disappear and leave John though. I mean, I get it because the guy lost his mate, fcol, but I still think it's messed up. You dig?

I see your point about heroines. Maybe Marissa didn't download all the way or something?

March 12, 2007 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

But I think Tohr is just so torn he can't hang with the rest of his peeps, true?

LMAO! It's entirely possible. That d/l business had gotta be rough, you feel?

March 12, 2007 at 10:57 AM  
Anonymous casee said...

True dat. I know that Tohr has to be in a really bad place, but John lost Wellsie too. Do you think when it comes to Tohr's book, the heroine will be Wellsie reincarnated?

Yeah, I just wasn't feeling Marissa. I hope the next heroine is more worthy.

March 12, 2007 at 11:07 AM  
Anonymous casee said...

Btw, Butch TOLD her that he was drunk when she INSISTED they do the nasty. Girlfriend is 300 years old, does she think her first time is not going to hurt? I mean, give me a break. Can you really be that naive after being alive for that long?

March 12, 2007 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

I don't know. I've wondered about that. I have a feeling she will be, though. Hmmm...or maybe Tohr will turn to men instead? lol

See, that's the same issue I had with Z in his book. You're gonna tell me that after 500 years he didn't know his dick was a dick? Puhleez!

March 12, 2007 at 11:54 AM  
Anonymous casee said...

See, you're obsessed with dicks. LMAO

Or maybe Tohr will join Wrath and Beth? Does Wrath know Tohr's not dead because he's king or because he has a "special" relationship with him like V and Butch?

March 12, 2007 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Jeez, I guess I am. lol

Ohh, a little menage? That could be fun. lol

March 12, 2007 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Kat O+ said...

OK, question about Wellsie - if she were to come back reincarnated, would you consider that a cop out? Because I think I probably would.

I think it might be a moot point, anyhow, because I'm pretty sure she's dead. Like totally and irrevocably. (Sorry!)

My theory is that Tohr will end up with someone who is totally unlike Wellsie (hopefully not Xhex - that would be weird, although I guess a sympath could help him deal with his grief). Maybe even a warrior-type heroine, since I remember he had some firm ideas about women (not) being in the Brotherhood.

March 13, 2007 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Yes, Kat, I would consider it a major cop out. On the other hand, I can't imagine Tohr with someone else, so it's hard. lol

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

You do make an excellent point about Tohr's opinion of women in the BDB. So...hmmm. lol

March 13, 2007 at 10:23 AM  

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